BIDDEFORD — Sometimes, when touchdowns come easy early on, it’s easy to overlook a strong defensive effort.

Brian Curit, the head football coach at Biddeford High, would have none of that Friday night after his Tigers defeated Greely 22-6 in the Class B South semifinals at Waterhouse Field.

The second-seeded Tigers jumped out extremely fast against the sixth-ranked Rangers, scoring on their first two offensive series – including a 60-yard touchdown pass on their first play – but then had to rely on their swarming defense to secure a trip to the regional final.

“We knew what we were going to be in for,” said Curit. “I think it was a little too easy at the beginning but I think our kids played great defensively.

“If you play great defense, you’re going to be in games. They did what we asked them to do. This is a testament to how hard they practiced.”

Biddeford (9-1) will play at top-seeded Kennebunk next weekend for the Class B South championship. The Rams beat Biddeford 16-12 on Oct. 14.

Greely finished 6-4.

Biddeford set the tone defensively in the first half, holding Greely to just one net yard, while opening a 20-0 lead. “We all played as a team and were hitting hard,” said linebacker Austin Dutremble. “Everyone played a huge role on defense tonight.”

And the Tigers got going offensively quickly.

After forcing a Greely punt on the game’s first series, Biddeford took over on its 40. Quarterback Joey Curit threw deep to Patrick Pearl on a streak down the right. Pearl caught the ball, shrugged off a would-be tackler and raced in to complete the 60-yard scoring play. Caleb Ball’s PAT made it 7-0 just 2:13 into the game.

After forcing another punt, the Tigers went 73 yards in four plays for another quick touchdown, a 7-yard run by fullback Curtis Petit, who also had runs of 38 and 14 yards on the drive.

“They’re a hard-hitting team,” said Pearl. “So it was important to come out with those first two drives. You can’t ask for two better drives to start the game.”

While Biddeford’s defense continued to clamp down, Ball – who also played soccer for the Tigers this fall – made his mark in the second quarter. He kicked a 25-yard field goal with 9:52 remaining and then boomed a 50-yard field goal with 6:08 left in the first half to make it 20-0.

“He’s good, very good,” said Brian Curit.

Ball, who consistently puts his kickoffs into the end zone, said it was the first time he’s kicked one that far in a game. “I was thinking the same thing as when I go out and kick PATs,” said Ball. “Just kick it through.”

Greely settled down in the second half. The Rangers defense slowed Biddeford’s running game, and the offense showed sparks. Nick Gauvin hit Shane DeWolfe for a 39-yard touchdown with 5:16 left in the third.

“They came out and put it to us early,” said Greely Coach Dave Higgins. “What I was most proud of was when we came back in the second half, the kids came back and worked hard and that’s all you can ask for as a coach.”